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Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile calls on government to commit to mutual recognition of qualifications

19 February, 2021 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin’s leader in the Seanad, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, has asked the Government to outline the steps the Government is taking to expedite a bilateral or joint programme of mutual recognition of professional qualifications between the north and south of Ireland and Britain.

He raised the issue as a commencement matter in the Seanad with Minister for EU Affairs Thomas Byrne, this morning.

Senator Ó Donnghaile said:

“This morning I raised in the Seanad the importance of mutual recognition of qualifications.  

“There is a huge amount of uncertainty on this issue and I have stressed with the Government today that there is a real need to get this matter resolved.

“As I told Minister Byrne, if we have a situation where qualifications aren’t being recognised mutually north and south, and indeed between these islands, then that has the potential to cause harm to our economy and it could have a real impact for workers and businesses. 

“One of the Irish government’s key commitments, supported right across, political, business and civic life here in Ireland, was the very clear need to defend and uphold the Good Friday Agreement, protect citizens’ rights and crucially in this instance, is the need to protect the all-island economy.

“Mutual recognition of qualifications is part and parcel of that.

“I will continue to press the Government on this issue. It is crucial that people can see the Government is doing everything in its power to mitigate the worst excesses of Brexit and this matter remaining unresolved is clearly one of those problems.

“In the Seanad this morning I asked Minister Byrne to commit on behalf of the Government to a comprehensive effort to establish bilateral agreements where necessary to ensure that issues like the mutual recognition of professional qualifications are maintained and that we don’t heap even greater injustice and denial of rights on people already losing out as a result of a Brexit they voted to reject.”

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